Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    yamamoto is offline Junior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    35
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default usage of 'little'

    Hello.

    I have a question with following sentence.

    Little did he imagine that the project would be such a challenge.

    When I rewrite this sentence, which one is correct? Or both are correct?

    1. He little imagined that the project would be such a challenge.

    2. He imagined little that the project would be such a challenge.

    In this case, does the adverb 'little' have a certain grammatical rule in terms of its position?

    thank you.

  2. #2
    MartinEnglish is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    127
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: usage of 'little'

    1. is correct
    The original (rather unusual and poetic) structure you give is:
    adjective/adverb + auxillery + clause

    Rarely do we find such courage on the battlefield.
    Seldom had I met such kind people.
    Little do you know what he really thinks.
    Often were the days I wished I had stayed at home.

    They can be rewritten as normal Subject +adverb of frequency + verb
    We rarely find....
    I seldom met
    You (really) don't know...
    I often wished...

    As you can see "little" cannot be transfered. I hope this helps! Email me if you're still not clear, I may not have explained that very well - I haven't had a coffee yet.

  3. #3
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    23,415
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: usage of 'little'

    I actually think "He little imagined that ..." sounds acceptable. Uncommon, but acceptable.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

Similar Threads

  1. the usage of enough
    By yuyu0615 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 16-Feb-2011, 09:47
  2. [Grammar] Usage
    By georgeorwell in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 13-Feb-2010, 16:39
  3. [Grammar] Usage of comes on
    By daemon99 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 27-Apr-2009, 13:03
  4. usage of would
    By kiranlegend in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 15-Nov-2008, 20:31
  5. Usage
    By chinrah in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-Jan-2007, 11:03

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •